Boston College Women’s Hockey faced off with the Vermont Catamounts in game two of the weekend series, and while the second matchup wasn’t quite as smooth sailing as the first, the Eagles did eventually take control, shaking off an early 1-0 deficit to take another relatively ho-hum win by a final score of 5-2, completing the weekend sweep and putting the Eagles on the cusp of national tournament consideration once again.
Like Friday night’s matchup, the Eagles came out playing well enough to score a couple in the first period, but Vermont goaltender Melissa Black played well enough to keep the game scoreless into the second period. With a Boston College penalty early in the second period, that gave the Catamounts the opportunity to take a lead on the Eagles for the first time in the season series, and they converted for the 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the Catamounts, that seemed to wake BC up for the rest of the game. From there, BC grabbed control. Megan Keller and Caitrin Lonergan paired up for a smooth give-and-go leading to a Keller score to tie the game up at 1-1 just a few minutes later, and Lonergan scored one of her own later in the frame to put the Eagles ahead on a crisp backhand off a breakaway.
BC gave themselves more than enough insurance early in the third period, with a misfired Jillian Fey shot deflecting off a defender and slowly slipping all the way through to make it 3-1, and Caitrin Lonergan scoring once again with a roof job on a semi-break to make it 4-1. From there, Coach Crowley gave most of the top liners a rest with many players coming off an illness during the week, and after a Vermont goal in garbage time, Erin Connolly put BC back up by three with an empty netter to make it a 5-2 final.
The Eagles were clearly not firing on all cylinders during this series, with the aforementioned illnesses likely taking at least a little bit of the edge off BC’s attack, so to see the Eagles come away with a couple pretty easy league wins on the road is encouraging. Even more encouraging was the breakout game from Caitrin Lonergan, whose 2-1—3 effort went far beyond just her finishing ability on breakaways as she was consistently one of the most exciting players on the ice throughout the game.
Unfortunately, BC once again couldn’t find a way to score on the power play, extending their special teams woes to an 0-for-18 streak and 2 for their last 36 with the advantage. At some point, they pretty much have to turn things around, which will go a long way toward BC making a playoff push. Look for Coach Crowley and Coach Kennedy to put a big emphasis on that as we approach the stretch run.
The Eagles have a huge weekend coming up next week as they take on #9 Providence in a home-and-home. The Friars have struggled somewhat of late relative to their hot start, so BC has a big opportunity to continue their momentum against a solid team. According to the BCI Pairwise Calculator, a sweep over the Friars would, outside of other results nationally, lift BC all the way back up to 6th in the Pairwise, good enough to be in an at-large position for the national tournament for the first time in over a month.
Game one next week is 2pm Friday at Conte Forum, before the teams head down to Schneider Arena in Providence on Saturday at 2pm for game two.